I wanted to bring this topic back again because I have an interesting take on it and it relates to the Libre Office discussion in episode 1x42.
One minute @jonobacon was talking about how he was using Libre Office for the Xprize stuff because it’s free and the next you guys are saying that they should charge money so the project can keep up with other office suites. You ether get a good office suite or you get a cheap office suite but you can’t have both. It sucks but money has to be made somehow.
This Libre Office situation highlights what I think is the core of the problem. It seems if the software itself is the product you can’t make money if it’s open source due to freedom #2. @bryanlunduke experiment a few years ago seems to support that claim. Because of this it seems to me that not all open source software should be open source.
Unless Libre Office gets their income from something other than the software itself, maybe a service or support (EX: Office 365 model), it will never keep up with MS Office and iWork.
I’d be interested in hearing what you guys think. Have I missed something? Is there a way to make money off open source software without a service or support being the source of income?